Business owners are continually looking for ways to improve their efficiency and cost effectiveness while also keeping their employees and customers satisfied.
In today’s environment, much of what we do and how we do it revolves around technology. While you may have started your company with mountains of paperwork and files, today it is digital forms and mobile apps that rule our world.
How come? For one, convenience is high on the list for both your internal and external audiences. Transitioning from paper and pen to electronic forms will make it easier to track your progress and share information with your employees and customers. With the move from pen and paper to all-digital, your operating costs will decrease, which can be allocated to other business needs.
Digitizing your business can drive your business forward. With technology progressing at such a fast pace, switching over to a digital model will help your chances of competing with other businesses, increase your business efficiency by getting more done in less time, and ensure a better experience for your customers.
If you were unsure before, this might be the time to start transitioning from paper to digital. Let’s look more closely at three key reasons you should start digitizing your business:
• Cost effectiveness: One of the most significant benefits of digitizing your business is saving money by spending less on paper products.
If you have a large workforce or are heavily reliant on paper forms, those costs can really add up. Printing multiple copies of forms for every technician or department can get expensive, not to mention the clutter all of that paper causes in the workspace. Storage rooms fill up quickly, which sometimes translates to the need and cost of an offsite storage facility.
Finally, paper forms don’t always provide the most reliable way to track important information about customers’ requests and inquiries. They tend to get torn or lost, and handwriting can be misread – all problems that are solved with a digital solution.
The budget that would normally go into paper costs, pens, storage, printing and the like can be directed towards the costs of training your technicians on the software. Allocating money to more essential resources like technology instead of purchasing pens and copies just makes sense.
• Timesavings and efficiency: As a business owner, your goal is to provide your customers with the best possible experience.
Switching to a digital platform will allow your technicians in the field to quickly access customer information and make the necessary adjustments to provide the proper client service and resolve their issues efficiently.
Equipping your technicians with the right technology and resources enables them to save precious time and sets them up for optimal growth. When you make digital forms mandatory for your technicians, you can customize their checklist and give them the accountability they need to increase their performance and service.
Going digital is also more eco-friendly since technicians will have the convenience of having all the essential paperwork on their devices; there is no need to drive back and forth to print dozens of copies or run the risk of misplacing a form anymore.
• Access anytime anywhere: Using a digital, cloud-based business management solution will allow you to access all of your customer data from anywhere at any time with internet access.
All you need is a laptop or mobile device, which is more convenient for employees when they are out in the field performing repairs or installations.
Documents are stored in the cloud and can be accessed through mobile applications, so it is easy to email forms directly to customers onsite. Managers can have instant access to review performance metrics such as sales leads generated by their technicians and field staff that they manage within their companies’ territories. Business owners gain access to reporting systems from anywhere with an internet connection.
Transitioning your business into a digital platform will take time and effort.
You must ensure you have everything in place, reviewing your business processes, identifying where they can be improved and ensuring that everyone who needs training is trained. Make sure your technicians are all aboard to learn the new way to navigate the digital forms and applications. You want to choose a platform that provides essential resources like training videos and excellent customer service to help your team get comfortable with using it and assist in the transition.
Here are a few additional tips for getting started:
• Ask yourself the basic questions first: Questions like: What is our end goal? Why are we doing this? How will it benefit the business? What will be different after we are done?
• Understand where you are now: This is an important step to help ensure that the final product is truly solving problems for your company instead of just adding more work or making existing processes more complicated than they already are. Identify some of your greatest challenges in terms of running the business. Is it marketing? Customer service? How can digital tools address these areas?
• Build your team so you are not going it alone: The more people involved in planning and executing a project like this, the better. There may be specific skills or tasks like search engine optimization that only one person knows how to do well; that is a sign that you should look to expand your team in that area.
Businesses must adapt to meet the changing needs of employees and customers in this day and age.
Digital transformation isn’t just about new technology. It is about how you and your team use that technology to solve problems for your company and your customers.
The right business management solution will provide a user-friendly platform to help digitize everything from call taking to payments to forms. It will take some time and planning on your part to implement, but the end result will be less stress, fewer expenses and more revenue.
Michele Windsor, vice president of implementation and training, Successware, is an experienced leader with 23 years’ experience within the software vendor space.